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Chadwick Boseman took a salary cut to raise Sienna Miller’s pay on ‘21 Bridges’

Actors Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller appear together at an event for the 2019 film, "21 Bridges."
Costars Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller at an event for the 2019 film, “21 Bridges.”
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP)

Actress Sienna Miller has paid tribute to her late costar Chadwick Boseman by sharing a personal sacrifice he made for her on the 2019 film “21 Bridges.”

In an Empire interview published Monday, Miller revealed that Boseman, who also co-produced “21 Bridges,” reduced his own salary in order to raise Miller’s pay on the action thriller, which starred the performers as a pair of detectives investigating the deaths of police officers in New York.

"[Boseman] had been really active in trying to get me to do [the film],” Miller told Empire. “He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold.

“So he approached me to do it, he offered me this film, and it was at a time when I really didn’t want to work anymore. I’d been working non-stop and I was exhausted, but then I wanted to work with him.”

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Adding to Miller’s reluctance was the “inconvenient” timing of the project, which arrived just as her young daughter was starting school.

“This was a pretty big budget film, and I know that everybody understands about the pay disparity in Hollywood, but I asked for a number that the studio wouldn’t get to,” she said.

“And because I was hesitant to go back to work ... I said, ‘I’ll do it if I’m compensated in the right way.’ And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”

As Hollywood tributes have continued to pour in for the “Black Panther” star, Miller said she was unsure at first if she should “tell this story,” but ultimately decided it was an important “testament to who he was.” Boseman died last month after a private four-year battle with colon cancer.

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“That kind of thing just doesn’t happen,” Miller continued. “He said, ‘You’re getting paid what you deserve, and what you’re worth.’ It’s just unfathomable to imagine another man in that town behaving that graciously or respectfully.

“In the aftermath of this I’ve told other male actor friends of mine that story and they all go very very quiet and go home and probably have to sit and think about things for a while. But there was no showiness, it was, ‘Of course I’ll get you to that number, because that’s what you should be paid.’”

In the weeks following Boseman’s death, many in the entertainment community and beyond have saluted the screen icon and his inspiring legacy. Among those who have honored their friend and colleague are Boseman’s “Black Panther” costars, director Ryan Coogler and Disney, which recently unveiled a powerful mural of Boseman, created by Nikkolas Smith, at Downtown Disney in Anaheim.

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